x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 July 2018

Eoin Morgan says England will need to play 'close to' perfect against India in ODI series

Captain was speaking after seeing his side lose T20 decider in Bristol by seven wickets

India's Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma celebrate victory over England to secure the T20 series 2-1. Reuters
India's Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma celebrate victory over England to secure the T20 series 2-1. Reuters

Eoin Morgan's England need improvement against India in this week's one-day international series after the tourists wrapped up the Twenty20 International series with a seven-wicket win in Bristol.

The hosts' 198-9 on Sunday was their third-highest T20 international total on home soil.

But on an excellent pitch, and small playing area, it proved inadequate as Rohit Sharma's unbeaten century eased India to a 2-1 series success after a third-wicket stand of 89 with his captain Virat Kohli.

Jason Roy (67) and Jos Buttler appeared to have put England on course to easily top 200 - but after their opening partnership of 94 in under eight overs, momentum was lost, and there was no grand finish either.

A manic conclusion to the innings in fact saw five wickets fall in 15 balls, albeit for 21 runs, as Hardik Pandya finished with a career-best 4-38.

Morgan said: "Those 20 or 30 runs we missed out on, in the back-end of our innings, cost us.

"We did a lot of things right today - particularly that platform set.

"Jason and Jos were brilliant up front, and almost gave us a licence to allow ourselves to think about 220.

"But the execution of our shots didn't really match up with getting to that total.

"On a good wicket, small ground, we should be better than that."

_______________

'Difficult' to drop Alex Hales admits England captain Eoin Morgan

_______________

The tourists were therefore always favourites in the chase, and completed it with eight balls to spare.

"India never really got away from us, but we struggled to take wickets," added Morgan. "They kept up with the rate, and then it was a position in the 16th or 17th over they could take the game away from us - which is disappointing."

The Irishman does not believe England have to play perfectly to beat India in white-ball cricket - just very, very well.

"I'd say close to," he said. "I don't think we have to play a completely perfect game every time [to beat them] - we proved that at Cardiff. But certainly today they had their day.

"India were probably on top of their game today, and we weren't - and we were just short."

Morgan and acting coach Paul Farbrace had a difficult call to make before a ball was bowled, to accommodate the return of fit-again all-rounder Ben Stokes - and in the end it was Test captain Joe Root who was dropped.

Asked if the conversation with Root is among the toughest he has had as captain, Morgan said: "Yes. Dropping Joe is not an easy decision.

"Trying to win the game on this particular ground, it actually came down to Ben's bowling option.

"If we had Joe as a sixth bowler - which we needed today - an extra spinner against India didn't really match up that well."